CATHEDRAL

Stoner Metal / Doom Metal / Heavy Metal • United Kingdom
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Doom metal band from Coventry, England. The group was formed in 1989 by Lee Dorrian (formerly vocalist of Napalm Death), Mark 'Griff' Griffiths (a Carcass roadie) and Gary 'Gaz' Jennings (previously a member of UK thrashers Acid Reign. The band forged a link between early doom metal and a 1990s extreme metal aesthetic, making doom slower and heavier. Their debut album, Forest of Equilibrium , is considered a classic of the genre, though the band would later evolve their doom style, adding psychedelic and progressive rock influences and playing in a more uptempo and groove-oriented fashion.

The band was founded in 1989 by Lee Dorrian (former singer of grindcore pioneers Napalm Death), Mark 'Griff' Griffiths (a Carcass roadie) and Garry 'Gaz' Jennings (formerly of thrash metal upstarts Acid Reign).[1] At first they played very heavy and slow doom metal that was first released through Rise Above Records, vocalist Lee Dorrian's
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CATHEDRAL Discography

CATHEDRAL albums / top albums

CATHEDRAL Forest of Equilibrium album cover 3.95 | 34 ratings
Forest of Equilibrium
Doom Metal 1991
CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror album cover 3.84 | 29 ratings
The Ethereal Mirror
Stoner Metal 1993
CATHEDRAL The Carnival Bizarre album cover 3.59 | 26 ratings
The Carnival Bizarre
Stoner Metal 1995
CATHEDRAL Supernatural Birth Machine album cover 3.08 | 13 ratings
Supernatural Birth Machine
Stoner Metal 1996
CATHEDRAL Caravan Beyond Redemption album cover 3.47 | 13 ratings
Caravan Beyond Redemption
Stoner Metal 1998
CATHEDRAL Endtyme album cover 4.02 | 14 ratings
Endtyme
Stoner Metal 2001
CATHEDRAL The VIIth Coming album cover 3.82 | 14 ratings
The VIIth Coming
Stoner Metal 2002
CATHEDRAL The Garden of Unearthly Delights album cover 4.31 | 25 ratings
The Garden of Unearthly Delights
Stoner Metal 2005
CATHEDRAL The Guessing Game album cover 3.65 | 15 ratings
The Guessing Game
Stoner Metal 2010
CATHEDRAL The Last Spire album cover 4.15 | 11 ratings
The Last Spire
Doom Metal 2013

CATHEDRAL EPs & splits

CATHEDRAL Gods of Grind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Gods of Grind
Doom Metal 1992
CATHEDRAL Soul Sacrifice album cover 3.19 | 7 ratings
Soul Sacrifice
Doom Metal 1992
CATHEDRAL After Forever album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
After Forever
Heavy Metal 1994
CATHEDRAL Cosmic Requiem album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Cosmic Requiem
Stoner Metal 1994
CATHEDRAL Statik Majik album cover 3.50 | 9 ratings
Statik Majik
Stoner Metal 1994
CATHEDRAL Hopkins (The Witchfinder General) album cover 4.25 | 4 ratings
Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)
Stoner Metal 1995
CATHEDRAL Live in London album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in London
Doom Metal 2010
CATHEDRAL A New Ice Age album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A New Ice Age
Doom Metal 2011

CATHEDRAL live albums

CATHEDRAL Anniversary album cover 4.00 | 3 ratings
Anniversary
Doom Metal 2011

CATHEDRAL demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

CATHEDRAL In Memorium album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memorium
Doom Metal 1990
CATHEDRAL Demo #2 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Demo #2
Doom Metal 1991
CATHEDRAL Rock Hard Presents: Gods of Grind album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rock Hard Presents: Gods of Grind
Doom Metal 1991
CATHEDRAL New Metal Messiahs! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Metal Messiahs!
Stoner Metal 1995
CATHEDRAL Vengeance of the Blind Dead (Flexi Version) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Vengeance of the Blind Dead (Flexi Version)
Doom Metal 2013

CATHEDRAL re-issues & compilations

CATHEDRAL Soul Sacrifice / Statik Majik album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Soul Sacrifice / Statik Majik
Doom Metal 1999
CATHEDRAL In Memoriam album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Memoriam
Doom Metal 2000
CATHEDRAL The Serpent's Gold album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
The Serpent's Gold
Stoner Metal 2004

CATHEDRAL singles (4)

.. Album Cover
4.00 | 1 ratings
Grim Luxuria
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Twylight Songs
Doom Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Ride
Stoner Metal 1993
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Gargoylian
Stoner Metal 2001

CATHEDRAL movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Our God Has Landed
Doom Metal 2001

CATHEDRAL Reviews

CATHEDRAL Supernatural Birth Machine

Album · 1996 · Stoner Metal
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UMUR
"Supernatural Birth Machine" is the 4th full-length studio album by UK doom/stoner metal act Cathedral. The album was released through Earache Records in November 1996. It´s the successor to "The Carnival Bizarre" from 1995 and features the same four-piece lineup as the predecessor. So with this release it was cemented that Cathedral would continue with only one guitarist in the lineup, which is something that drastically changed their sound on "The Carnival Bizarre (1995)" compared to the twin guitar doom metal style of the first two albums.

"Supernatural Birth Machine" pretty much continues down the same doom/stoner metal style of its predecessor. It´s generally a little less doomy and slightly more hard rocking, but other than that it´s a natural successor in terms of sound and style. The one guitar approach provides a relatively simplistic touch, just like the case was on the predecessor, but the focus is still on heavy and organic played riffs and rhythms and Lee Dorrian´s often out of tune raw shouting vocals. There is a certain unique charm to his delivery, but damn the man can´t hit a clean note if his life depended on it.

The material on the 11 track, 58:00 minutes long album is relatively well written. There´s nothing offensively bad featured on the album, but there aren´t many highlights worth a mention either. It´s pretty standard quality doom/stoner metal, which could have prospered from more catchiness and a generally more hook oriented songwriting approach. Way too many of the tracks just pass by without leaving a lasting impression. The sound production is organic and relatively well sounding, but it lacks slightly in the punch department. The band are as always well playing, and all in all "Supernatural Birth Machine" is a decent release by Cathedral. Taking their full discopgraphy into account it´s one of their least interesting releases though, and a 3 star (60%) rating is fair.

CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
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Unitron
This album completely changed my definitions of what doom metal could be (to the point of not even knowing if this is doom at all, but who cares). Doom metal is usually all about sounding dark, lethargic, and/or depressed right? Cathedral said 'fuck it', here's a bit of ominousness, but lets have some fuckin' fun.

Never have I heard another band come from the genre with this much exuberance, energy, personality, infectious hooks up the ass, grooves, and a special goofy charm that only Lee Dorian can pull off. Listening to the singles of Ride and Midnight Mountain make me wonder how the hell these guys didn't make it big. The riffs are massive, and the songwriting is honed to create the perfect metallic bop. Even songs like Enter the Worms, Fountain of Innocence, and Grim Luxuria balance out lumbering doom with huge grooves that bring a party.

Frontman Lee Dorian really commands the stage, he sounds like a party animal who doesn't know when to quit. His vocal style is so unique, with this weird and charismatic tone that brings light to every song no matter how dark the guitar riffs sound. Even when he's not 'OH YEEEAAAAH' and 'GROOVIN' ALL NIGHT', he's singing the chorus of Grim Luxuria the same way. It's absolutely fantastic.

Rather than filing this with Candlemass and Saint Vitus, this is probably better thrown together with grunge and groove metal (At least that's what I typically pair it with).

CATHEDRAL The Ethereal Mirror

Album · 1993 · Stoner Metal
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Warthur
Although over time I have come to appreciate the early doom sound that Cathedral had on their debut - a style of comparatively purist doom metal flavoured and given a little extra edge by the band members' past experience in various extreme metal subgenres - the style wouldn't last long. Already, on their second album, you could hear the gear shift, with the band already moving away from traditional doom to the sort of good-natured stoner metal that would be their calling card for much of their subsequent career. This unfortunately puts more of a spotlight on Lee Dorrian's vocal performance, which frankly I find to be a turn-off, and the catchier, simpler, more accessible sound feels kind of vapid and empty to me if I'm being brutally honest.

CATHEDRAL Forest of Equilibrium

Album · 1991 · Doom Metal
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Warthur
Although I'm generally pretty keen on doom metal, and will always honour Lee Dorrian for his role as Rise Above head honcho in bringing groups like Blood Ceremony, Electric Wizard, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats to wider attention, Cathedral have always somehow failed to catch me - especially their more stoner-oriented middle period. (Once you start yelling "Huggy Bear oh yeah!" in the middle of a song you know you have lurched into total self-parody.)

This debut album of theirs, though... I think it has finally grown on me. Forest of Equilibrium has a rather unique doom sound because the participants are coming at it from decidedly non-doom backgrounds. You have Lee's own past in Napalm Death, Adam's Acid Reign roots, Mark Griffiths' Carcass roadie years - in short, a heap of experience in the faster, grittier, more extreme flavours of metal out there.

The end result is a doom album where, though I find Lee's vocal contributions to be a bit hit or miss, the overall aesthetic he leads the band to accomplish is an interesting departure for doom metal, giving it some of the gruesome, sick edge that extreme metal subgenres of the era enjoyed. The end result is a doom album which stands in stark contrast to some of the more "clean" and pristine takes on the genre, and as such deserves its place in doom history. Manage your expectations carefully and listen with an open mind.

CATHEDRAL Forest of Equilibrium

Album · 1991 · Doom Metal
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Vim Fuego
When Lee Dorian announced the formation of Cathedral, no one quite knew what the hell to expect. Dorian had been part of the first legendary line up of Napalm Death, so a Doom Metal band seemed like the polar opposite. Add to that a guitarist from one of the UK’s leading Thrash bands of the time, and it seemed like a very odd proposition. Would this be the first ever high-speed Doom band? The first few notes of ‘Comiserating the Celebration’ showed what was in store. Cathedral was slow, heavy and well, Doom-laden. The rhythm guitar came straight from the Tony Iommi school of riffs. Discordant guitar lines played counter to the rhythm, seemingly out of tune, but fitting perfectly. Dorian’s psychotic screech was gone, replaced by a deep, soulful moan. Like a mammoth struggling for its life in a prehistoric tar pit, the whole effect is one of sinking, a hopeless inescapable fate. And basically, that was the tone for the entire album. The band explores the plummeting depths of despair repeatedly. There is not an element of cheer anywhere on the album. ‘Soul Sacrifice’ picks up the pace a little, and apart from a final flourish, hardly raises the tempo beyond a slow march. ‘Equilibrium’ also rumbles like a rolling shockwave of an earthquake across a continent. Lee Dorian’s vocals were something of a revelation. Until the release of this album, Doom vocalists basically emulated Ozzy Osbourne’s high-pitched tenor. Some like Trouble’s Eric Wagner favoured the tripped out, stoned Ozzy, while others like Candlemass’ Messiah Marcolin went with full operatic pomposity. Paradise Lost’s ‘Lost Paradise’ predates ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’, with Nick Holmes employing a similar vocal technique, but there was a large Death Metal component to Paradise Lost’s sound. Cathedral was pure Doom. Dorian sounds like he’s on the ultimate downer trip, all life and energy sapped from his body, his voice the croak of a man who has seen his own demise and has accepted it resignedly. The lyrics are tales of mysticism and natural majick, but Dorian would inspire dread no matter what the subject matter. Guitarist Adam Lehan was also treading new ground. He’d formerly been a member of UKAC (United Kingdom Apple Core, a hardcore label piss-take) nutters Acid Reign. It might have been tempting to play old Acid Reign riffs at half pace, but there is nothing here which even hints at Thrash. The odd ropey riff is excusable in Thrash, because playing at high speed mean it’s gone again fairly quickly. However, playing at the leaden pace of Cathedral Lehan and fellow guitarist Gary Jennings had to deliberately place every note, or it would hang there rotting like a corpse in a gibbet. ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’ helped relaunch Doom Metal into the general Metal conscious. It attracted notice because of the band members’ previous gigs, but kept the interest because of its own musical merit. It was also Cathedral’s only pure Doom release. From ‘The Ethereal Mirror’ and beyond, a large Stoner Rock component was added to the sound. ‘Forest Of Equilibrium’ stands alone as a dread monolith in Cathedral’s career.

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